Giulio Iacchetti Takes on the Urinal

Italian Designer Giulio Iacchetti definitely has a flair for the absurd. As artistic director for international brands like IB rubinetterie, Il Coccio design edition, and–most recently–Ceramica Globo, Iacchetti gets every opportunity to engage his penchant for “research and definition of new object typologies.” We saw a good dose of such a novel form last month with his Drop Showerhead for IB rubinetterie.

Olivia Urinal. Designed by for Ceramica Globo.

The “object typology” in this case was the elegant simplicity of a turkey baster. In regards to today’s product–the Olivia Urinal Giulio Iacchetti for Ceramica Globo –the model is ostensibly the long-suffering beau of cartoon icon Popeye. Since the original Italian on the Globo website is yet untranslated, the inference is just that–pure conjecture based on press images accompanying the new piece.

Giulio Iacchetti Takes on the Urinal

Giulio Iacchetti Takes on the Urinal

Of course, the link between “Olivia” and “Olive Oyl” is manifest. And before I go on to speculate about the resemblance between the particular tint of the particular pair of liquids evoked in “Olive Oyl” and “Urinal,” I’ll make the claim that the connection is all about formal properties. For if one examines the sinuous simplicity of the shape of Popeye’s fianc©e, one realizes that “Olivia” is very much a bodily counterpart. Like the thin-as-rails cartoon character, Iacchetti’s urinal is essentially a slim, straight line with a rather prominent head (and does my memory deceive me, or did the cartoon have an ongoing gag in which Olive’s mouth would open up to a cavernous, screaming gape whenever she lost her temper?).

If I’m wrong–and I may very well be–I nevertheless maintain that, like the best ultra-simplified cartoons, from Popeye up to South Park, Olivia stands for the purity of the line–its declarative power, its direct connection to the vision of the artist, and, yes, its enhanced functionality. For though Olivia might frighten away lesser men (the intimation of an aggressive, gaping mouth is enough to give some of us measured pause), the stouter of our species will be delighted to step up and take aim.

Via DesignBoom.

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